RB Kolubara

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RB Kolubara
Native name
РБ Колубара
Government-owned corporation
Industry Coal mining and smelting
Founded Lazarevac, Serbia (January 20, 1992 (1992-01-20))
Founder J.P. Elektroprivreda Srbije
Headquarters Lazarevac, Serbia
Area served
Key people
Milorad Grčić (General director)
Products Coal, Lignite
Revenue Increase 416.29 million (2013)[1]
Increase €23.04 million (2013)[1]
Total assets Decrease €1.055 billion (2013)[1]
Total equity Decrease €613.84 million (2013)[1]
Owner Government of Serbia (100%)
Number of employees
Parent Elektroprivreda Srbije
Website www.rbkolubara.rs

RB Kolubara (full legal name: Privredno društvo za proizvodnju, preradu i transport uglja Rudarski basen Kolubara d.o.o. Lazarevac) is a Serbian coal mining and smelting complex with headquarters in Lazarevac, Kolubara District.[2] The mine has coal reserves amounting to 2.2 billion tonnes of lignite, one of the largest lignite reserves in Europe, and it produces 22.6 million tonnes of coal per year.[2]

Since Kolubara mining basin is the largest coal supplier for Elektroprivreda Srbije it plays a vital role in the country's energy independence. About 52% of the electricity in Serbia is produced based on the lignite from Kolubara,[3] that is about 20 billion kW hours of electricity per year. Most of the coal (about 90%) is used for electricity production in TPP Nikola Tesla in Obrenovac, in thermal power plant Kolubara in Veliki Crljeni and in thermal power plant Morava in Svilajnac.[4]


The beginnings of mining in the region of Kolubara basin are associated with the year 1896 when the first pit Zvizdar was opened. In the eastern and western part of the basin coal has been successively extracted from the 14 pits Zvizdar, Sokolovac, Skobalj, Radljevo, Prkosava, Veliki Crljeni, Kolubara 1, Veliki Crljeni - Kolubara 2, Kosmaj - Kolubara 3, Baroševac, Šopić, Junkovac and others. A turning point in coal production came in 1952 with the opening of the first open pit (Fields A) which started mass surface mining of lignite. Opening of new mines and processing facilities fallowed.[5]

Environmental Improvement project[edit]

In 2011 Kolubara started the Environmental Improvement project financed by EBRD (EUR 80 million ) KfW (EUR 75 million) and state electricity company Elektroprivreda Srbije (EUR 80 million). According to information provided by EBRD, the investment will generate benefits resulting in an environmental improvement of the Kolubara complex. The main benefits being more efficient and cleaner extraction of natural resources, supplying the existing power plants with lignite of a uniform quality (that will lead to more stable and efficient operations and controlled uniform emissions which will result in lower levels of CO2 and other pollutants as well as reduced wear and tear and maintenance costs) and helping Serbia to achieve emission limits set by the recently introduced EU Directive 2010/75 on Industrial Emissions.[6]

Controversial issues[edit]

Social impact[edit]

For the last 10 years the Kolubara mine basin has been expanding towards the settlements causing conflicts between inhabitants and mines. This problem affects around 6000 families. During the last decade, Elektroprivreda Srbije has moved hundreds of households, two complete villages and partially 10 villages. Resettlement caused by the Tamnava West expansion in 2003 was not done according to good standards, the main reason being shortage of funds, which led to slowing down of the land acquisition and development of the proposed infrastructure. In the end, they were never conducted, which diminished credibility of Elektroprivreda Srbije in the eyes of inhabitants. With continued expansion of the mine, the relocation of households became urgent and residents were under enormous pressure to accept financial compensation and leave the territory designated for coal excavation. The value of their property was often underestimated.[7]

Environmental Impact[edit]

In spite of the Environmental improvement project carried out in 2011, there are still various environmental consequences of the mining work in Kolubara complex among them gas releases (carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone etc.), pollution of water supply and deterioration of ground.[7]

2013 Landslide[edit]

In May 2013 the overburden of field B of the Kolubara lignite mine collapsed and caused a landslide that destroyed seven houses and one road in the town of Junkovac. On 28 March 2014 Serbian nongovernmental organization CEKOR (Centre for Ecology and Sustainable Development) pressed charges against Kolubara company for endangering public safety in Junkovac. The case was made after the statement by the Department for Mining Inspection in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Mining and Spatial planning that confirmed the Kolubara company has overloaded the dump field that caused the landslide.[8]


In October 2011 authorities arrested 17 people, including two former directors of the Kolubara mine Dragan Tomic and Vladan Jovicic, eight executive managers and seven owners of private firms with which Kolubara conducted business. The executive managers are suspected of abusing their positions to illegally appropriate up to 2.9 million Euros, while enabling private companies to illegally profit 9.2 million Euros. Pre-trial proceedings were initiated because of suspicion that Kolubara's assets were used illegally through the leasing of construction machinery from privately owned companies, and by enabling other corporations and persons material gain.[9] The first of two corruption trials against Dragan Tomic started on 25 May 2012. Tomic and four others were indicted in January on charges of abuse of power and of damaging the Kolubara budget for US$650,000 between 2004 and 2008. They face up to 12 years in prison.[10]

In January 2013 Serbia's Energy Minister Zorana Mihajlović in her address, announced that Kolubara's business dealings are now a subject of an investigation, on suspicion of financial abuses. Allegations include paying high salaries to non-existent employees, buying over-priced equipment, and using resettlement compensation to pass bloated amounts of money to people close to the management.[10]


2014 Floods[edit]

Due to heavy floods which devastated the area in May 2014, there has been a week-long interruption in coal transport from Kolubara. Water two meters high covered all the machines and the railway on which the coal is being transported.[11] The Belgrade media have written about the damage and repayment of it since the machinery and equipment were not ensured against flooding.[12] Damage is estimated to be at least 100 million Euros.[13] The flood’s impacts were much worse for those living near the mine, especially where the waters and mud mixed with pollution from the mine.[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Основни подаци из консолидованог финансијског извештаја за 2013. годину. Agencija za privredne registre Srbije (in Serbian). Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "Mineral deposits of Serbia". docstoc.com. 2012. Retrieved 2013-06-28. 
  3. ^ Rudarski basen Kolubara. Proizvodnja. Retrieved 11. 6. 2014
  4. ^ Serbia Energy. Serbia mining:The importance of “Kolubara mine basin” in the Serbian energy system. Retrieved 11. 6. 2014
  5. ^ Rudarski basen Kolubara. Rudarstvo staro 117 godina. Retrieved 9. 6. 2014
  6. ^ Information about the project on EBRD webpage.
  7. ^ a b CEKOR Complaint to the EBRD Project Complaint Mechanism submitted on 1. 10. 2013.
  8. ^ Bankwatch. Serbian NGO presses criminal charges against Kolubara mining company over landslide. Retrieved 6. 6. 2014
  9. ^ Regional anti-corruption initiative. INVESTIGATING SERBIA'S FRAUD OF THE CENTURY. Retrieved 9. 6. 2014
  10. ^ a b Regional anti-corruption initiative. SERBIA: COAL MINE CORRUPTION TRIAL BEGINS. Retrieved 9. 6. 2014 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "srbija" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  11. ^ B92. Coal transport from Kolubara to Nikola Tesla power plant resumes. Retrieved 6. 6. 2014
  12. ^ B92. RB Kolubara: Netačne izjave iz EPS. Retrieved 6. 6. 2014
  13. ^ RTV. Šteta u "Kolubari" najmanje 100 miliona evra. Retrieved 6. 6. 2014
  14. ^ Bankwatch. When water mixes with coal - The impacts of the floods in Serbia on people living next to lignite mines. Retrieved 6. 6. 2014

External links[edit]